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Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming (edition 2018)

by Michelle Obama (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7171523,410 (4.49)211
"An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. When she was a little girl, Michelle Robinson's world was the South Side of Chicago, where she and her brother, Craig, shared a bedroom in their family's upstairs apartment and played catch in the park, and where her parents, Fraser and Marian Robinson, raised her to be outspoken and unafraid. But life soon took her much further afield, from the halls of Princeton, where she learned for the first time what if felt like to be the only black woman in a room, to the glassy office tower where she worked as a high-powered corporate lawyer--and where, one summer morning, a law student named Barack Obama appeared in her office and upended all her carefully made plans. Here, for the first time, Michelle Obama describes the early years of her marriage as she struggles to balance her work and family with her husband's fast-moving political career. She takes us inside their private debate over whether he should make a run for the presidency and her subsequent role as a popular but oft-criticized figure during his campaign. Narrating with grace, good humor, and uncommon candor, she provides a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of her family's history-making launch into the global limelight as well as their life inside the White House over eight momentous years--as she comes to know her country and her country comes to know her. [This book] takes us through modest Iowa kitchens and ballrooms at Buckingham Palace, through moments of heart-stopping grief and profound resilience, bringing us deep into the soul of a singular, groundbreaking figure in history as she strives to live authentically, marshaling her personal strength and voice in service of a set of higher ideals. In telling her story with honesty and boldness, she issues a challenge to the rest of us: Who are we and who do we want to become?"--Jacket.… (more)
Authors:Michelle Obama (Author)
Info:Crown Publishing Group (2018), Edition: 1st, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

Recently added byFAMeulstee, smasarachia, joyhclark, cmeesh, janineknapp, private library, GordonW, AdamVachon, watson4
  1. 00
    I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai (lottpoet)
    lottpoet: similar sense of doing what needs doing, of her deeds being, not extraordinary, but a part of ordinary humanness
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    Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama (TheLittlePhrase)
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    Elizabeth.Macyshyn: First Lady autobiographies are fascinating, after enjoying Becoming, try the one that started the trend.
  4. 00
    Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage by Christopher Andersen (Cammie.m)
    Cammie.m: This book gives an insight to the Obama’s life, love, marriage, and parenthood. It also discusses the trials and tribulations of being the President of the a United States of America. This book is a wonderful read!
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» See also 211 mentions

English (147)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
Generally entertaining and adeptly written, but the narrative and image are too carefully controlled for the book to provide much more than a surface-level engagement. ( )
  AshLaz | Dec 3, 2019 |
Generally entertaining and adeptly written, but the narrative and image are too carefully controlled for the book to provide much more than a surface-level engagement. ( )
  AshLaz | Dec 3, 2019 |
Humble beginnings great work and life ethic. Deciding to be a stay at home mother to allowing husband to run President. ( )
  BryceV | Nov 26, 2019 |
I heard so many great things about the former first lady’s memoir, but it surpassed my expectations. I loved seeing the whole experience of campaigns and presidential terms through her eyes. She talks so candidly about her reservations during the process. I also loved hearing about her time as a young girl growing up in Chicago’s South Side and struggling to find a work/life balance as a new mom.

“I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.”

“Everyone on Earth was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.”

“His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Nov 7, 2019 |
I was glad to see Michelle Obama's autobiography published, because even though she is one of the best known people in the world, she is also surprisingly reticent about herself. This book opens up her world to us, from her childhood in Chicago through the years of Barack's presidency. I thought it was well-written and gave us insight into her experiences in school, the workplace and on the political trail. We learn a lot about her family and their relationships, especially because growing up in an extended family gave her such a feeling of belonging and being loved. She recounts the difficulties most women today experience balancing education, work and family responsibilities. I admired her before reading the book, and I have even more respect for her after learning more about her. ( )
  terran | Nov 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
The summary of Obama’s White House initiatives relies on promotional language and well-worn anecdotes, and the book’s final pages are just a shade away from an overt advertisement for the Obama Foundation. The memoir’s “bombshell” revelations, which the media has projected as revelations of the female condition writ large—a discussion of Obama’s use of fertility treatment to conceive her daughters, and of a period of her marriage in which “frustrations began to rear up often and intensely”—belie how much the rest of the text withholds.
I suspect that some of Becoming’s power lies in the ways it employs the techniques of a novel more than those of a typical political memoir—in its honesty about human nature and ambivalence, yes, but also in its colorful and idiosyncratic details ... in its willingness to let anecdotes speak for themselves rather than pedantically spelling out their lessons.
Becoming is frequently funny, sometimes indignant or enraged, and when Michelle describes her father’s early death from multiple sclerosis it turns rawly emotional.
added by g33kgrrl | editThe Guardian, Peter Conrad (Nov 18, 2018)
But despite how close we get to her voice here, it’s never quite close enough. She lets us into all kinds of memories, including tender recollections, romantic dates, and triumphant moments on the campaign trail. But for all her candidness, there is still a veil of privacy around the inner workings of this reluctant public figure. She draws the reader in, but pauses at arm’s length. Maybe this is all we can expect, in text, from this woman with so much presence. As she says herself, she’s more of a hugger.
added by g33kgrrl | editVanity Fair, Sonia Saraiya (Nov 15, 2018)
Even if Becoming is not always interesting, it is much more interesting than it needed to be to qualify as a successful first lady memoir. And as an example of how to walk the tightrope — how to seem charming but not like an intellectual lightweight; how to get things done without seeming threatening; how to do all of the impossible things we demand of women in general, of first ladies in particular, and of the first black first lady as an absolute — Becoming is a straight-up master class.
added by g33kgrrl | editVox, Constance Grady (Nov 13, 2018)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Obama, Michelleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svensson, ManneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all the people who have helped me become:

the folks who raised me---Fraser, Marian, Craig,
and my vast extended family,

my circle of strong women, who always lift me up,

my loyal and dedicated staff, who continue to make me proud.
To the loves of my life:

Malia and Sasha, my two most precious peas,
who are my reason for being,

and finally, Barack, who always promised me an interesting journey.
First words
When I was a kid, my aspirations were simple. (Preface)
Grief and resilience live together.
I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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